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Does your child wake up in the middle of the night or constantly fight the idea of bedtime? Below are 5 simple tips that can help your child fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Rest is important for the growing minds and bodies of our young ones. Small changes that optimize bedtime habits can result in big changes and great rest.
Routines are especially important for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Creating routines before bed by doing the same specific things each night can onset the need of rest in body. These routines will be unique to each family and household, whether it is a bath or a goodnight story, these consistent habits signal to your child what’s next to come. Over time a steady routine becomes comforting and relaxing while setting that perfect bedtime energy. Before you know it, your child’s body will automatically start to unwind at the beginning of their nightly routine.
Cherries are one of the few (and tastiest) natural sources of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body and responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock including the sleep-wake cycles. Researchers believe it’s the combination of melatonin and anthocyanin in cherries that might help you sleep better at night. Making yummy and healthy smoothies for dessert is a fantastic way to incorporate cherries in your child’s diet, while increasing their levels of melatonin to help them sleep better.
You know how kids will ask you for a bedtime snack right before crawling into bed? The problem is most snacks contain sugar and this certainly won’t make falling asleep any easier. Eating too closely to bedtime requires the body to digest these foods which keeps the body on and alert. Limit the intake of foods too closely to bedtime to ensure the body is completely ready to slow down and rest easy.
This can be a tough one to implement because so many children enjoy watching screen and playing with their tablets after a long day. Limiting the use of electronics an hour before bedtime can have lasting impacts on a child’s long term ability to fall asleep fast. This can also improve upon the overall quality of sleep and in turn their next day behaviour. Technology is a mental stimulant, leaving minds active and awake. There is also blue-light emitted from these devices which can confuse the internal body clock, tricking the mind into not being as tired as the body really feels.
While a stuffed animal can make it easier for your child to sleep, an excess amount of toys in the bedroom can actually make it harder. Soft sheets, room-darkening shades, and a quiet space can help your child differentiate between active time and moments of rest. A child’s sleep cycle isn’t just dependent on light (or the lack thereof). It’s also sensitive to temperature. Deep sleep requires a drop of internal body temperature so a cool room is best for sleep. Resist over bundling your child with too many blankets or setting the heat too high.